Shane West

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Shane West
Shane West 2010.jpg
West in July 2010
BornShannon Bruce Snaith
(1978-06-10) June 10, 1978 (age 36)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Other namesShannon Snaith, Shane Wrestler
OccupationActor, musician, songwriter, producer, writer
Years active1995–present
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Shane West
Shane West 2010.jpg
West in July 2010
BornShannon Bruce Snaith
(1978-06-10) June 10, 1978 (age 36)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
ResidenceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Other namesShannon Snaith, Shane Wrestler
OccupationActor, musician, songwriter, producer, writer
Years active1995–present

Shane West (born Shannon Bruce Snaith;[1] June 10, 1978) is an American actor, punk rock musician and songwriter. West is known for his portrayal of Eli Sammler in the ABC family drama Once and Again, Landon Carter in A Walk to Remember, Darby Crash in What We Do Is Secret, Dr. Ray Barnett in the NBC medical drama ER and Michael Bishop in The CW spy drama Nikita. He currently stars in the WGN adventure/historical/fantasy drama Salem as John Alden.

As well as acting, West has performed with punk rock band Germs and Johnny Was.

Early life[edit]

West was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the son of Leah Catherine (née Launey), a lawyer, and Don Snaith, a drugstore owner.[2][3] Both his parents were musicians and had their own punk bands.[4] His mother is of Cajun French descent and his father was born in Jamaica, of British and Portuguese origin.[5][6] He is the eldest of three children with a sister Simone and a half-sister Marli Ann. His parents divorced in 1982 when he was four years old.[7] Influenced by his parents, he grew up listening to The Clash, The Jam, Blondie, Elvis Costello, and The Kinks.[4] He revealed: "I always thought I would be doing music rather than acting."[4]

At the age of ten, West and his sister Simone moved to Compton, California with their mother because she was looking for a better job. They later moved to Norwalk, California.[7][8] When he was fifteen or sixteen, West moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. He struggled for two years and lived at his manager's house,[8][9] before making his acting debut in 1995, appearing in the CBS drama Picket Fences in the season 4, episode 6 "Heart of Saturday Night", where he played Dave Lattimore.


Shane West at the Toronto International Film Festival 2010

In 1998, West guest-starred in several television series including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and played Mark Tapper in the stage production of The Cider House Rules.[10] He landed his first major role in 1999 in the ABC family drama Once and Again, playing Eli Sammler for three seasons. West's feature film debut was in Liberty Heights, a film about a Jewish family in Baltimore, directed by Barry Levinson. He also co-starred in teen comedies Whatever It Takes (2000) and Get Over It (2001).

West was cast as Landon Carter opposite singer and actress Mandy Moore in 2002's adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel A Walk to Remember, which was a modest box office success, grossing over $41 million in the United States.[11] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times found him "quietly convincing".[12] His performance in the film earned him a Teen Choice Award for Choice Chemistry with Moore. He also appeared in the Mandy Moore music video "Cry". That year, West won the Young Hollywood Award Male Superstar of Tomorrow.

In 2003, West starred as an adult version of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen alongside Sean Connery. The film was a commercial success, earning over $179 million worldwide from a production budget of $78 million.[13] A year later, he joined the cast of the long-running NBC medical drama, ER in the eleventh season premiere, playing resident Ray Barnett. In May 2007, West left ER at the end of the thirteenth season after winning a role in Supreme Courtships,[14] but the series was not picked up by the Fox Network. In October 2008, West returned to ER for three episodes during its fifteenth and final season.[15]

During hiatus between seasons of ER, West worked on shooting What We Do Is Secret (an independent film), which premiered at the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival after much delay.[16][17] West helped to finance it.[18][19] In the film, he portrays Darby Crash, a member of the 1970s punk band Germs. Members of the band were so impressed by West's performance that they re-formed the band with West taking the deceased Crash's place. West received positive reviews for his portrayal in the movie; the San Francisco Chronicle stated that he is the one who "lifts the entire film to a whole other level".[20] Similarly, the Seattle Times wrote that his impersonation was "worth saluting" while TV Guide called it "pretty impressive".[21][22] In 2008, he received the Rising Star Award in Philadelphia Film Festival for his work in What We Do is Secret.[23][24]

West starred as Michael Bishop in The CW spy drama Nikita from 2010 to 2013. In 2014, he began starring in the WGN adventure/historical/fantasy drama Salem as John Alden.

In music[edit]

West performing with The Germs in Madrid in December 2009.

West was the lead singer of punk rock band Jonny Was[25] for "seven or eight years".[4] The band was originally known as Average Joe but had to change its name for legal reasons.[26] The band contributed to the A Walk to Remember soundtrack, appearing under the names "West, Gould, and Fitzgerald" because they had not yet decided on a new name.[26] West described their style as "a pop-punk type band, more Green Day-ish".[4]

In November 2005, while What We Do Is Secret was still in production, it was announced that West would be fronting Germs on tour.[27] He performed with the band for nearly five years, doing an American tour (including the 2006 Warped Tour) and a European Tour.[28][29] He described the experience as "more exciting" than acting.[30] However, after booking a leading role in Nikita, West had less time to play with the band. His last performance was in December 2009.[28]


1995Picket FencesDave LattimoreTV series – "Heart of Saturday Night"
California DreamsDougTV series – "Community Service" (voice)
1996The CrewStore ManagerTV series – "Retail Slut"
Boy Meets WorldNickTV series – "A Kiss Is More Than a Kiss"
1997Mr. RhodesMickTV series – "The Valentine Show"
Get a ClueChris TheodorakisTV movie of the book The Westing Game
MeegoGuy with Big HatTV series – "Morality Bites"
Buffy the Vampire SlayerSeanTV series – "Go Fish"
SlidersKirkTV series – "California Reich"
To Have & to HoldMitch MaloneyTV series – "Tangled Up in You"
The Cider House RulesMark Taper
1999Liberty HeightsTed
1999–2002Once and AgainEli SammlerSeries regular – 54 episodes
Nominated—Teen Choice Awards: TV Choice Actor for Drama
2000A Time for DancingPaul, the DJ
Whatever It TakesRyan Woodman
Dracula 2000JT
2001Get Over It!Bentley "Striker" Scrumfeld
Ocean's ElevenHimselfCameo
2002A Walk to RememberLandon CarterTeen Choice Awards for Chemistry with Mandy Moore
2003The League of Extraordinary GentlemenTom SawyerNominated—Cinescape Genre Face of the Future Award for Best Male Performance
2004ERDr. Ray BarnettSeries regular (2004–2007; 2008, 2009) 70 episodes
Main Cast (Seasons 11–13)
Special Guest Cast (Season 15)
2006The Elder SonBo
2007Supreme CourtshipsTV pilot
What We Do Is SecretDarby CrashPhiladelphia Film Festival Rising Star Award
2009The LodgerStreet Wilkenson
Red SandsSpc. Jeff KellerAlso co-producer
Echelon ConspiracyMax Peterson
2010The Love AffairCarter TroyShort film
The Search for El DoradoJack WilderMiniseries
The PresenceGhost
2010–2013NikitaMichaelSeries regular, 73 episodes
Teen Choice Awards: TV Choice Actor for Action
2014SalemJohn AldenSeries regular
Red SkyTom Craig


2002A Walk to RememberTeen Choice Awards, Film - Choice Chemistry A Walk to RememberWon
2002Once and AgainTeen Choice Awards, TV - Choice ActorNominated
2002Young Hollywood Awards, Superstar of Tomorrow – MaleWon
2003The League of Extraordinary GentlemenCinescape Genre Face of the Future Awards, Best Male PerformanceNominated
2004The League of Extraordinary GentlemenCinescape Genre Face of the Future Awards, Best Male PerformanceNominated
2008What We Do Is SecretPhiladelphia Film Festival, Rising Star AwardWon
2011NikitaTeen Choice Awards, TV – Choice Actor, ActionWon
2012NikitaTeen Choice Awards, TV – Choice Actor, ActionNominated
2013NikitaTeen Choice Awards, TV – Choice Actor, ActionNominated


  1. ^ Weisbard, Eric. Listen again: a momentary history of pop music Experience Music Project
  2. ^ Shane West - Biography, Yahoo! Movies
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e "Shane West on Joining the Germs and "What We Do Is Secret"". Rolling Stone. August 6, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ Nguyen, Hanh (August 26, 2010). "'Nikita' set visit: Shane West tells tattoo stories, needs yoga". Zap2it. Retrieved August 26, 2010. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b "'Go West!'". Teen People. April 2003. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Scharf, Lindzi. "shane west (interview from 2002)". Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  9. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn (September 5, 1999). "Desperate to Seem 16". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. 7. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  10. ^ "The Cider House Rules". Variety. June 12, 1998. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  11. ^ A Walk to Remember (2002) - Box office / business
  12. ^ Ebert, Roger (January 25, 2002). "A Walk to Remember". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  13. ^ "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  14. ^ Weisman, Jon (March 14, 2007). "'Nine' actors head to pilots". Variety. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  15. ^ Ausiello, Michael (July 31, 2008). "Exclusive: Shane West's 'ER' Comeback a 'Double Surprise'". Entertainment Weekly. 
  16. ^ Radish, Christina (September 7, 2010). "Shane West Exclusive Interview NIKITA". Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  17. ^ Schruers, Fred (June 22, 2007). "Resurrecting legacy of doomed punker Darby Crash". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  18. ^ Yao, Laura Yao (August 28, 2008). "After 15 years, his 'Secret' is out". Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  19. ^ Perez, Rodrigo (June 25, 2007). "While You Were Sleeping, Shane West Somehow Got Cast As Darby Crash". The Playlist. Blogspot. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  20. ^ Wiegand, David (August 29, 2008). "Movie review: Germs' toxic 'Secret'". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  21. ^ Hartl, John (October 9, 2008). ""What We Do Is Secret": A standout bad-boy performance in conventional punk-and-drugs biopic". Seattle Times. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  22. ^ Fox, Ken. "What We Do Is Secret: Review". TV Guide. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  23. ^ Longsdorf, Amy (April 11, 2008). "Valley tells the story in award-winning documentary Why don't people vote?". The Morning Call. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Shane West receives 2008 Rising Star Award At 17 Philadelphia Film Festival Philadelphia". April 12, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  25. ^ Jonny Was myspace
  26. ^ a b Murray, Rebecca; Topel, Fred. "Interview with Shane West from "A Walk to Remember"". The New York Times Company. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Germs to Tour with Actor West Out Front". Spin. November 17, 2005. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  28. ^ a b Potts, Kim (September 9, 2010). "Shane West Talks 'Nikita,' Punk Rocking With The Germs and His 'Top Gun'-ish Action Flick". AOL TV. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  29. ^ Charaipotra, Sona (September 9, 2010). "Shane West of 'Nikita' Chats With The Stir". The Stir. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  30. ^ Ratledge, Ingela (May 30, 2012). "A Day Out With Nikita's Shane West". TV Guide. Retrieved January 6, 2013. 

External links[edit]